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Music and Emancipation: The Social Role of Black Jazz and Vaudeville in South Africa between the 1920s and the Early 1940s

Christopher Ballantine
Journal of Southern African Studies
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 129-152
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2637289
Page Count: 24
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Music and Emancipation: The Social Role of Black Jazz and Vaudeville in South Africa between the 1920s and the Early 1940s
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Abstract

Within the specified sub-culture, a number of beliefs existed about music's role. On the one side, were a set of beliefs that were essentially liberal and individualistic in character - in part a consequence of the petit-bourgeois outlook and practice of (especially) the African National Congress at the time. On the other side, more radical views and practices existed, on the basis of which music might lend assistance to efforts for more fundamental social change. Of particular interest here was the assertion that there was intrinsically a value in jazz bands or vaudeville troupes incorporating musical and other materials that were African; and this in turn was part of a broad groundswell of militant protest in the early 1940s, expressed ideologically in the philosophy of New Africanism, and politically in (for example) the formation of the ANC Youth League.

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